DAILY DISCIPLINE #59
By Colleen Donahue
In our last two studies, we've been wandering with the Israelites through the desert. They were fleeing from Egypt and making their way back to the promised land. This was the land you remember that God originally called Abraham to go to. He was to leave his country, his people, and his household to go to this special place where God had promised to bless him and all the children that would be his descendants. (Genesis 12:1-2).
Abraham and his descendants did make it to the promised land and lived a short time but at that stage of history they had not really "taken hold of it". They were still aliens in a foreign land when a famine came upon the land severe enough to cause them to go down into Egypt for food. This was the first exodus from the promised land. Little did they know that it would be over 400 years before they would see their land again.
In the fullness of time God again looked down on His chosen people and raised up Moses to lead them back to the land He had promised to give Abraham and all his descendants. But sin of all kinds kept them wandering in the wilderness for 40 extra years. It was a painful time in their history but God in His mercy finally brought them to the edge of the promised land. It was here at the border that they had to stop. Moses, through his own sin against God, could not lead them into the land. But God permitted him to see it all with his own eyes before he died (Deuteronomy 34:1-6).
And so, we begin our study with......
THE PROMISED LAND BEFORE US
Day 1- What did God promise Joshua, His chosen successor after Moses?
Joshua 1:3-6 (Look for 6 things)
Notice that because God had given definite boundaries, Joshua knew what to claim (i.e. where to put his foot). So it is when God gives to us a vision or promise. It will be definite.
Day 2- What instructions did God give to Joshua?
It's interesting to see that conditions for success were based only on obedience to God's word NOT their brilliant strategies and war plans.
Day 3- How did the Israelites respond to Joshua's leadership?
Day 4- What did Rahab, the Harlot seem to intuitively know?
Joshua 2:1-11 (vs 9)
Because she told this to the Israelite spies what did they know?
THE FALL OF JERICHO
Day 5- How did Joshua respond to the privilege of receiving word from God?
Note: This man with a sword in hand proclaiming to be a commander of the Lord's army was Joshua seeing a vision of Jesus.
What did God promise him?
Day 6- What was the state of Jericho at the time of this promise?
Often when God gives us a promise all we can see is the impossibility of it.
Day 7- Then notice the method that God gave to capture the city. It did not utilize human strength, nor did it seem very logical. It is a great illustration that God's methods are not man's!
Day 8- Despite what seemed a crazy way to capture a city, Joshua and the people showed absolute obedience. They didn't question God, or change the method. They just did it exactly as He said.
Day 9- Because of this display of full trust in God and obedience, what happened?
Joshua 6:20-21, 27
How often do we question God about His ways instead of trusting ourselves to His infinite wisdom?
THE COST OF DISOBEDIENCE
Day 10- What warning did Joshua give his people before going to take Jericho?
Day 11- Who disobeyed? Who did God's anger burn against?
Sin that creeps into a fellowship can cause God's anger on all.
Day 12- Notice that it was through a withdrawal of the Lord's blessing that this sin was actually discovered.
Day 13- In perplexing and difficult times what should be our first action?
Day 14- You can be sure that the Lord will answer you plainly as you wait upon Him!
Day 15- Sin can never be tolerated in our lives or in our families and churches if God's presence is to be with us. Read how skillfully God got to the actual offender.
Day 16- Notice that the stealing of articles forbidden by God came because Achan had looked too long at forbidden things and then coveted them in his heart.
Day 17- Avoidance of temptation will often call for a commitment on our part to keep our eyes from evil - i.e. from "looking too long".
Psalm 119:37 / Proverbs 4:25 / Isaiah 33:15-16 / Matthew 5:29
Day 18- What was the punishment for Achan's crime?
Joshua 7:15, 24-25
Day 19- When was fellowship restored between God and the Israelites?
Day 20- If this incident seems extreme for just a "little" theft, then we do not know that God is holy and tolerates NO SIN OR EVIL.
Deuteronomy 32:4 / Joshua 24:19-20 / Isaiah 6:3 / Revelation 15:4
Day 21- Then why are WE not killed for all the sin and wickedness WE have committed?
Day 22- We were all under the sentence of death (even before our birth), because of the sins of our forefathers. But about 2,000 years ago God replaced my physical death (and yours, too) with His Son's death. But in a cosmic miracle, God put our old sinful natures into Jesus so that when He died our sinful nature died with Him.
Romans 6:3-7 / Ephesians 2:1-5
Day 23- For this reason, people living since Christ's death are alive by God's grace.
Ephesians 2:8-9 / Titus 2:11 / Titus 3:7
Day 24- YET --- even though God extends His grace:
A. --unless you personally repent and turn from your sins,
2 Peter 3:9 / James 1:21
B. --unless you recognize your death with Christ's death,
C. --unless you spend the rest of your life in a relationship with Jesus...
You will still be under sentence of spiritual death, for God will never act upon our lives against our own wills.
THE TEST OF COMPROMISE
Day 25- As we have already seen, God is not one to compromise. What was common knowledge to both the Israelites and the Canaanites?
Day 26- This was the reason for the Gibeonites wanting to make a treaty with the Israelites.
Day 27- The important thing for us to see in this story is that a compromise and bad decisions were made that should have been avoided. Why was this deception not discovered?
In living our life united with Jesus, going by the sight of our eyes is not good enough. If He is our Lord, then we are obligated to walk closely with Him so He can direct our way.
TAKING HOLD OF THE PROMISE
Day 28- Although taking the promised land required physical action and effort by the Israelites, how did God take part?
Day 29- So it is regarding the things that God asks us to lay hold of. Although we have to act and apply effort, God is always going before us to protect, lead, and fight the evil spirits that are behind a particular situation.
Genesis 35:5 / Exodus 23:27 / 2 Samuel 5:24 / Psalms 34:7 / Psalm 91:4
Day 30- About midway in taking hold of the promised land, what exhortation did Joshua find it necessary to make to the people?
Day 31- In laying hold of the promises God has given us, that is always the great danger,-i.e. that we'll stop short and be satisfied with less -- or, that we'll go backward altogether. What exhortation are WE given?
Hebrews 10: 35-38
Let's add 2 more days to this month's study.
Day 32- At the end of Joshua's life, he gives an amazing testimony regarding the Lord's part in giving them the promised land.
Joshua 21:43-45 / Joshua 23:14
Day 33- What can we also confidently say today?
2 Corinthians 1:20
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